William and Harry view tributes left in memory of Diana at Kensington Palace
Sheltering under umbrellas, the royals also toured the White Garden, inspired by memories of Diana’s life, style and image.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have made a personal pilgrimage to view the floral tributes left in memory of their mother as Harry confessed “all of us lost somebody”.
William and Harry stopped to look at the heartfelt messages, pictures and flowers left in remembrance of Diana, Princess of Wales at the gates of her former home Kensington Palace.
The 20th anniversary of Diana’s death will be commemorated on Thursday and the royal brothers, with Kate, earlier honoured her memory by visiting a nearby memorial garden in the grounds of the palace created for the Princess.
The Duke and Prince Harry are grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they have received about their Mother. pic.twitter.com/pOAtvsOE4q— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017
They wanted to say thank you to those who made the journey to Kensington Palace.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017
Charity chiefs from organisations associated with Diana met the royals after their tour and Harry told one group of campaigners about how his mother’s death was a tragedy for them – as they were preparing to work with the royal – as well as his family.
He said: “I can imagine for a lot of you it was like ‘right here we go, now we’ve got her, we’ve got the thirst, we’ve got the attention, now let’s do something’ then suddenly she’s snapped away – if I can put it (this way) all of us lost somebody.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive and make their way to The White Garden. pic.twitter.com/MtaJitNLtl— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017
The garden has been open since spring, and will continue into September with White roses, lilies, gladioli and cosmos. pic.twitter.com/9Lx3vWctPE— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017
The royal brothers had spent an hour touring the temporary memorial White Garden in the grounds of the palace with Kate before making the short journey to the gates, which is fast becoming a shrine to their mother.
Sheltering from the heavy rain under an umbrella William knelt down to look at some of the bouquets left in tribute to his mother then later pointed out a picture to his brother that appeared to make him laugh.
TRH meet with Gardener Sean Harkin who designed the display, and Graham Dillamore who knew The Princess from working here over 30 years ago. pic.twitter.com/LPA9fUWp6i— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017
Harry came over to have a look at the picture which had left his older brother in stitches and William said: “Look at my shades”. The Prince glanced at the photograph of the Duke and his mother both wearing sunglasses as they sat in the crowds at an unknown event.
The Duke and Prince stood together under their umbrellas looking at the lovingly created picture montages of Diana that sometimes featured them as babies, toddlers and young boys.
The royal siblings have talked candidly about the loss of their mother in a number of documentaries and interviews this year, and about the scenes they experienced when they came to see the tributes left at Kensington Palace a few days after their mother’s death.
The engagement today will be The Duke and Prince Harry's opportunity to publicly pay tribute to their mother, and all she achieved. pic.twitter.com/Ff6TGWU65P— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017
William reminisced about that moment and took a few moments to point out to Harry how far back the flowers had stretched from the gate.
Pointing out where the sea of 1997 tributes had stretched to, he said: “Last time, it was all the way down.” Noting a large display of photographs, he added: “They’ve put a banner up.”
William and Harry’s appearance had attracted several hundred well-wishers who lined crash barriers and the brothers each placed a floral tribute at the gates for fans of their mother.
White Gardens follow a tradition first established at Sissinghurst, to create peaceful and contemplative spaces where visitors can reflect. pic.twitter.com/ZfiJzOL4co— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) August 30, 2017
Sisters Gracie, aged eight, and Maisy Oxby, 10, from Basildon in Essex handed over a bouquet of red blooms to Harry to place at the entrance on behalf of another royal fan.
Maisy said: “He took the flowers and asked us who we were and said ‘whereabouts would you like them to go’? I said in the middle under the HRH on a poster.”
Her sister added: “A lady gave us the flowers and she said can you give it to one of the princes.”